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Tips To Grow Achocha Vine Plants In Your Garden

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Achocha is a deciduous, vining vegetable of the cucurbit family that is also known as caigua, caihua, korila, slipper gourd, wild cucumber, and stuffing cucumber. Achocha is thought to be endemic to various Andes Mountain regions in Pᴇʀᴜ and Bᴏʟɪᴠɪᴀ, and was a key food crop for the Incas. However, achocha has been widely farmed for hundreds of years throughout South America, Central America, Mᴇxɪᴄᴏ, and the Caribbean, therefore its exact origin is unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achocha thrives in humid, mountainous or hilly subtropical climates. The Appalachian Mountains in the United States are ideal for growing achocha. It’s a self-seeding annual vine that’s been regarded as a weedy nuisance in some parts of Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fast-growing vine can grow up to 6-7 feet (2 meters) tall. In the spring, achocha sprouts palmate, deep green foliage that resembles Jᴀᴘᴀɴese maple or ᴄᴀɴɴᴀʙɪs. Its little, wʜɪᴛe-cream summertime bʟᴏssoms are unimpressive to humans, but pollinators adore them. Achocha plants yield a fruit that resembles a pepper in cucumber skin after the brief bloom period. This fruit is lengthy, reaching a length of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm), and has a little curvature at the end, giving it a “slipper” form. The fruit has soft cucumber-like spines on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fruit resembles a cucumber when harvested immaturely, at around 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) long, with soft, edible seeds surrounded by light, mushy, crisp pulp. Fresh achocha fruit, like cucumber, is consumed while it is immature. When the fruit ripens, it turns hollow, and the flat, irregularly shaped seeds harden and turn black. The seeds are removed from mature achocha fruits, which are then stuffed like peppers or fried, sautéed, or baked in different cuisines. The immature fruit has a cucumber flavor, whereas the cooked mature fruit has a bell pepper flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achocha is a vine that grows every year. It is typically grown from seed each year, although with a maturation time of 90-110 days, gardeners may need to start seeds indoors in early spring. Despite the fact that achocha is self-pollinating, two or more plants will yield more than one. A sturdy trellis or arbor should be supplied because they are fast growing vines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achocha can thrive in practically any soil type as long as it drains effectively. Achocha vines will require constant irrigation in hot climes, as plants will become dormant if water is scarce. While achocha plants can withstand heat and moderate cold, they cannot tolerate frost or windy conditions. Pest and ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ resistance is built into the plants for the most part.